Posts Tagged ‘research’

Hello Wednesday. You’re already much more steady than yesterday. Thank you for that gift. Now that I have my breath back, let me explain a little of what happened.

In the midst of the highs and lows of yesterday, (1) a truck at the post office decided to try to run me over. I had to run to keep my legs. This is a great way to get the adrenaline pumping. In other news, (2) I got my first letter from a publisher seeking me out. It certainly was no offer of publication, nor is it a company I would ever choose to go with, but the offer should be the beginning of a chain reaction. And it was very thrilling and honoring to receive. (3) I’m also learning French. I’ll spend nearly ninety days studying so that I can perhaps use it for the three days I’ll be in Paris. But hey. I love language. It feeds my brain as nothing as else does. And if you’ve read Mark of Orion, you know that Evie hails from France so it could work out very well for the novelist in me too. (4) Yesterday also contained a canceled Starbucks meeting with a friend. While I was sad not to get to see her, I very much enjoyed the extra downtime. I spent a large portion of it doing research for the group meeting I had in the evening at my church, but I sneaked in a little time for McMillion and Wife–my recent Netflix kick.

Further details would just bore you, so I’ll stick with what I’ve mentioned. As for today, its full of tea and firesides and writing and strictly taking all the supplements that will make me stronger. It’s got extra rest in its margins and opportunities galore for me to catch my breath. It is a good day.

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It finally came. That burst of inspiration that nearly knocks you off your feet. It was much needed if my new novel was going to take off into a series, as planned.

There are still plenty of kinks to be worked out with the new ideas. To help out, I spent a while story-boarding on my white-board and searching for common myths. Let me know if you know of any exciting myths (like yetis, area 51, etc). I could use all the help I can get doing research. It is astounding to me how much research can go into one little idea that a reader may barely notice. But its essential to have a solid foundation for a book (and sometimes that foundation comes from myths).

Today I am thankful for:

1. Time with Sister Kate

2. Vanilla Spice Coffee from Dunkin Donuts

3. Positive feedback on my new book

4. Time to story-board

5. A day of rest from homework

6. Three chapters of Corinthians memorized

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Today was one of those days where you do a bunch of different projects and begin to push back the tide of forgotten work. It feels so good to be on the other side of so many small but important things!

I awoke by editing Xsardis, then began construction of a new article about Christian fantasy-born out of the thoughts I have been struggling with for so long. I proceeded to research and craft letters to key people I am hoping to partner with as my ministry expands. (Small projects can take a very long time to do them correctly!) I reshaped the website to a certain extent and began behind-the-scenes work on making it much more user-friendly. Everything takes research. Research takes time. Thankfully I had it today.

After lunch, I finally got ahold of my admissions’ advisor at Nyack College. We had been playing phone-tag. Looks like I am definitely on the right track and things are going to be cheaper than expected. Her conversation opened up a whole new set of projects to work on. Still, I am hopeful that I will soon get ahead of my work again. If I could just get back to writing! Longing-filled sigh.

I was able to spend part of the afternoon getting a hair cut from a friend, then going to dinner and shopping with my parents. It was a good day. I am tired. Though I am still a little under the weather, I feel much, much better and I look forward to next week. Life is such gift and I intend to use mine!

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Research can be a pill, but with the right attitude it also can be lots of fun (I imagine that Rick Riordan really enjoyed the research for his Percy Jackson and the Olympians series). I spent yesterday afternoon looking up a certain kind of monster that will appear in my third book, Xsardis. I first looked at images to gather ides for the structure of the monster. Then I used Wikipedia to gather ideas for its mannerisms. My research has only just begun but it was fun. The best part will be when I mix the legends, facts and my own imagination to create the monster you will meet in November 2011 (if all goes according to plan).

When I created Smolden in Issym, I knew a fair bit about dragons so I did not do as much research as I probably should have (back then I thought research was boring; I was wrong. It is like a game.) but I did use one source–the Bible. Job 41 does a really good description of the leviathan so I used that as a base.

My advice for research is not just to look at measurements and statistics but to read into legends and gather inspiration from pictures and conversations you have with others. Draw on what you found interesting, what caused dreams after you did the research. My dragon appeared in my dreams twice–just about scared me to death, but it gave me a better concept for him. I knew how he moved, thought, breathed and stalked. I knew the fear my characters would feel and their wonder at the mighty beast. Do not skip on research. Making your book believable is really important!

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